Archive: August, 2011

August 30, 2011

Are You Ready to Live More Fully?

blossomAnd the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

In what ways have you stayed small? What keeps you small? Are you doing it for yourself or for others? Are you protecting people from your passion, your sparkle, your wonderful you-ness?

In what ways are you ready to blossom? Are you ready to unfurl your wings, extend your petals and show up fully in the world?

What risks are you waiting to take in your life? How can you be more fulfilled in your work, your relationship or your sex life?

With great risk comes great reward. Isn’t it time you lived more fully?

Filed under: Change, Live Your Best Life, Self-love — admin @ 4:52 pm

August 25, 2011

Your Partner Can’t Read Your Mind

Do you wish your partner knew how to communicate with you in a way that felt comfortable and connecting?  Maybe you would like to come home at the end of the day and have your spouse know exactly what you need to feel good or relaxed.  Is there a part of you that really wishes your lover knew just how to please you sexually? Would it be nice if your mate knew how to help you when you are upset or frustrated?

Here is the simple truth – the only way to get exactly what you want in the bedroom (or in any other area of your life) is to ask for it! There is something appealing about the idea of having someone intuitively know exactly what you want in any given moment.

Appealing? Yes.

Realistic? No.

Just because you have to ask for something, doesn’t make it less valuable.  In fact, asking for something you want and getting it is way more valuable than keeping quiet and being disappointed.

So instead of wishing your partner could read your mind…why don’t you fill him in on what you are thinking.

Need a little help asking for what you want?  Here is a video about that very subject. (hint – it’s the first video I made and you may need to turn up the volume)

Filed under: Communication, Relationship, Video — admin @ 11:10 am

August 22, 2011

5 sexy ways to stay cool when it’s hot Hot HOT outside!

sexy ways to cool off when it's hot

Is the heat getting in the way of your sex life?  Here are a few (sexy) ways you can cool off together.

  • Run though a sprinkler

Remember how fun it was to run though a sprinkler as a kid?  You can do this is an adult too!  Add your lover and do it in the nude and you’ve got a sexy way to cool off on a hot day!

  • Give your partner a sponge bath

Let your partner undress and get comfortable.  You can blindfold your mate to increase her sense of touch.  Get a cool, wet wash cloth (keep a bowl of cold water near you so you can keep the wash cloth cool and wet) and slowly give your partner a sponge bath.  Start away from her genitals, cooling her off and teasing her as you go.  Move slowly and keep her guessing where you will touch next.  For an added chill, use a fan or your mouth to blow on her body.

  • Grab some ice cubes

Run ice cubes over your lover’s steamy body.  The contrast between the heat of your bodies and your mouths will heighten the chill of the cube.  You can add other chilly treats to your foreplay too.  Use ice cream (just avoid the vaginal area because the sugar can promote a yeast infection), chill or freeze fruit and feed it to each other, or place the ice cube in your mouth and run it over your mate’s body.

  • Go skinny dipping

Go skinny dipping in a body of water or take a cool bath with your lover.

  • Let yourself get hot and then cool off together

Sometimes you just can’t avoid the heat.  It can be fun to let yourself get hot and sweaty with your partner when you know you can cool off afterward.  You two can have some great, sweaty sex and then take s shower together to cool off.

Filed under: Sexuality — admin @ 10:55 pm

August 17, 2011

Being romantic – let me count the ways…

latte love web

Here are some ways you can add a little romance to your relationship –

  • Buy your partner flowers “just because”
  • Add a heart, word or a special image to your partner’s coffee, breakfast, dinner or treat
  • Slip a love note into your lover’s bag, purse or coat pocket
  • Write your mate a letter sharing your feelings of love and appreciation.  If you struggle with expressing your feelings, find a poem, quote or song lyrics that sum up how you feel.  You can deliver the letter in person or send it in the mail.
  • Cook for your partner
  • Plan a special date or romantic getaway
  • Write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror or with chalk on the sidewalk
  • Leave a glass of wine waiting for your partner when she walks through the door.  Place a note next to it asking her to join you outside to watch the sunset.
  • Surprise your partner with a gift
  • Begin and end your day with a compliment or expression of gratitude
  • Read to each other before bed (you can always spice this one up by reading erotica to each other)

Romance is not “one size fits all.” If you aren’t sure what your partner finds romantic, you can always ask. Romance is about being thoughtful, making your partner feel loved or cherished and doing something special for the special person in your life.  Romance is best when done without ulterior motives, however, don’t be surprised if your romantic gestures bring extra loving attention your way!

Filed under: Relationship, Romance — admin @ 2:47 pm

August 16, 2011

Romance isn’t for sissies!

cherry blossom web

Romance gets a bad rap.  It’s called silly or girly or is put in the same category as “puppy love.”  People sometimes shy away from romance because they don’t want to look wimpy.  If you would like more romance in your life you might judge yourself saying it’s for young girls or belongs in the movies.

Here’s the reality about romance.  Strong, independent women can desire romance.  Strong, independent men can desire romance. If you yearn for romance, that doesn’t mean you are silly or a wimp…it just means you yearn for romance.

Romance can be a great addition to a relationship.  Romance can bring a sense of adventure or giddiness to your partnership. Being romantic toward your partner can make him or her feel attended to, important or beloved.

Sometimes being romantic can feel like a risk because you don’t know how it will be received.  It takes a brave person to be romantic.

If you want to be romantic but flowers or poetry aren’t your thing, don’t worry, romance can take on many different forms.  Tomorrow I will post a list of ways you can add romance to your relationship.

Filed under: Relationship, Romance — admin @ 2:51 pm

August 12, 2011

Luscious Living for the fall!

I am so excited about a workshop I’m leading in August and 2 groups I’m facilitating this fall.  You can find all of the juicy details below.

Orgasm Workshop -  Thursday, August 25th 7pm-9pm

Never had an orgasm? We’ll talk about things that might help you have your first. Having orgasms but want to have them in a different way or have more of them? We’ll talk about that too.  This is a great opportunity to be in a room with other women who are having similar experiences.  During this workshop you will have a chance to share your challenges and brainstorm new possibilities.

Each workshop will be part educational with information and resources I provide for the group and there will also be time for group sharing.  These workshops are an opportunity to learn about the theme and also share your experience with other women.  Each workshop is limited to 6 participants.  The cost is $25 per workshop.

Live Your Best Life

I am thrilled to announce that I have scheduled my next Live Your Best Life Group for women.  This time it will be 10 weeks so that we can pack all sorts of juicy goodness in the group.  I spent 5 weeks in Paris this summer; which was one of the ways that I’ve lived my best life this year and I can’t wait to share what I learned about adding pleasure to your life, taking care of yourself and living lusciously!  I hope you’ll join me.

Here are the details!

The group will meet at my office in NE Portland on Saturdays from 3pm-5pm, September 10 – November 19 (there will be NO GROUP MEETING on October 22).

We will be starting after labor day and be done before Thanksgiving so that you can totally focus on yourself before the crazy holiday schedule starts.

The cost is $25 per week.

You Don’t Have to be a Sexy Tiger – Discover YOUR Sexual Self

This is a BRAND NEW group I’ve developed based on the book I’m writing.  I can’t wait to help you learn who you are sexually!

This is a 10-week group for women who are tired of trying to fit someone else’s idea of sexy and ready to learn who YOU are sexually.

In addition to talking and sharing in a group setting, there will be exercises and assignments each week to help you find your unique sexual self.

This group runs September 12 – November 14 and meets from 7pm-9pm on Monday nights.

The cost is $30 per week.

The workshop and both groups are limited so if you are interested please let me know.  You can register by email (julie@portlandsextherapy.com) or phone (503-756-3478).

I’m so ready to live lusciously this fall and I hope that you will join me.

Filed under: Live Your Best Life, Self-care, Sexual Being, Sexuality — admin @ 8:59 am

August 10, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

I recently learned that a couple people in my family are sick.  It’s been quite a roller coaster from learning the information, letting it sink in and then seeing how it impacts my life (now and how it will change in the future).  It’s easy to wonder what will happen in the future.  Will they get better?  How long do they have?  When should I fly home to visit again?  Is it hereditary?  What about my other family members?  What can I do?

I’ve been thinking about how illness affects relationships and plan to write more about that soon.  Right now I’m thinking about how a family member’s illness impacts you and your partner.  Even though your partner isn’t sick, if someone you care about is suffering or ill that impacts you and in some ways it might impact your relationship.

Here are a few things you can do -

  • Feel Your Feelings

If you try to ignore them they will come up later (I speak from experience!  I had a very busy week and didn’t give myself time to think or grieve and by the end of the week my back seized up and I was FORCED to pay attention).

  • Stay in the Present

You can’t know what is going to happen.  It doesn’t serve you to worry or try to guess what the future holds.

  • Take a Break

Give yourself permission to take a break from grieving or worrying and enjoy your life.  Go on a date, have some ice cream, take a walk.  It’s OK to laugh at a funny tv show or a joke.  When you are taking a break, make sure you also feel your feelings.  Don’t force yourself to go on a date if you really want to curl up and have a good cry.

  • Practice Self-care

Get plenty of rest, eat well, get some exercise.  Take good care of yourself.  Do things that will make you feel comforted or feel good.  You won’t have the energy to be supportive or caring to your family member if you aren’t caring for yourself!

  • Connect with your family

If illness is affecting a family member, share your feelings and fears and hopes with other family members.  Lean on each other, talk, cry, laugh…share warm memories.

  • Get Support

Reach out to friends, your partner, your family or a counselor or therapist.  You are not alone in this experience…other people have been there and may have insight they can offer you.  Even if someone hasn’t had a similar experience, they can offer you support and comfort.

If you are the partner of someone who has an ill family member, you can also benefit from all of the above information.  Even though your blood relative isn’t sick, you may have a relationship with your partner’s family member.  You may have your own feelings to process.  In addition to that, you probably want to be there to support your partner.  The best way for you to support your partner is to make sure you are taking care of yourself.  Here are a few things you can do for your partner.

  • Offer Support

Ask your partner what she needs or how you can support her.

  • Listen

It’s a simple word, yet it can be really hard.  Your partner may have conflicting feelings (sadness, anger, guilt, relief) and having a loving person who can listen to her is very meaningful.

  • Be Loving

This one may be obvious to you.  Doing loving things, saying loving words, showing your love – all will go a really long way right now.

  • Be Patient

We all process things at our own rate.  Just because you move through your feelings very quickly doesn’t mean she will (or should).

  • Encourage Her to Take Care of Herself

If she isn’t get enough rest or eating well, you can offer gentle reminders.  Or better yet, lead by example or even cook a meal for her.

Be gentle with yourself, each other and your relationship. Take it (and your feelings) day by day.  Remember you and your partner are on the same team and this doesn’t have to be something that comes between you.  You can lean on and support each other.

If you have experienced illness in your family, I would love to hear how you handled it.  You can leave comments on my facebook page.

Filed under: Family, Grief, Relationship — admin @ 3:47 pm

August 8, 2011

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child and a Tribe to Support a Marriage!

Last week I traveled to the Midwest for my sister’s wedding.  As the oldest sibling, as a sex and relationship counselor, as a married person myself; I’ve been thinking about what I can pass on to my sister as she gets married.

I also had the honor of doing a reading at the wedding

I also had the honor of doing a reading at the wedding

It can be easy for couples to feel like they are on their own after they are married.  Especially now that people often grow up and then leave their hometowns.  If a couple moves to a new town together they may feel even more isolated.  In addition, after the happy day of a wedding, it might be hard for couples to share with others if they are having problems.  They might worry friends or family will judge them or be disappointed.

It’s really important for people to feel supported in their relationship and in their marriage.  It’s also important for them to feel supported individually.  I sent a request out to the women in my sister’s life asking them to contribute to a book for her.  I asked them to send their wishes, advice, quotes or stories about marriage.  I complied their thoughts and sentiments and printed them out.   We gave them to my sister the night before her wedding.

Here is something I wrote about her tribe and the wishes/advice we compiled –

I think every bride and wife needs to know she is surrounded by a tribe of women.  Here are some notes and wishes from your tribe.  We all love you and support you and are so happy for you.  We are here for you.  We are here with words, love, a shoulder if you need it, a funny joke, advice or anything else you need.  We are here for you on your special day (in presence or in spirit) and we are here for you throughout your marriage.  We love you!!!

Having a tribe of women can help you feel supported in your marriage.  Here are a few ways you can be supported and support others.

  • Have a monthly dinner with your tribe.  Talk about any ways you may need support.
  • Reach out to someone in your life and let her know you support her.  Tell her you are there if she needs you (remember support is different than unsolicited advice).
  • Reach out when you need support.  There is no shame in asking for help.
  • Create a special ritual with your tribe before the wedding.  Collage a marriage journal together, have everyone place their wishes in a special bowl,  make a scrapbook with special memories or have a slumber party.

I’m back in Portland and still have family and weddings on the brain.  I will be writing about relationships and commitment in my August newsletter.  You can subscribe here.  Look for a new post later this week on dealing with illness in your family (another time when you may need support from your tribe.)

Filed under: Marriage, Relationship, Self-care — admin @ 4:13 pm

August 1, 2011

Spice Up Your Sex Life with a Seduction Bowl

Here is a new tool to add to your sexual tool belt.

If you are looking for ways to break out of your sexual routine…or if you need a little help with initiating sex – a Seduction Bowl is a great resource!

Filed under: Relationship, Seduction, Sexuality, Video — admin @ 9:15 am